please advise w/ mixing dialog recorded w/ lav at

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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #1
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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please advise w/ mixing dialog recorded w/ lav

I'm trying to mix the audio of my short film that was recorded very often with a lav on the key actor and a boom covering the rest of the action. Unfortunately, the boom was not an active boom, but usually placed in a stationary position and pointed at the action. A lot of the time, the boom is just very noisy. We did switch the lav out a good bit though so there is some good coverage with it.
What I was wondering is should I mix the lav audio so it has more presence and doesn't seem too clean. If so, how should I go about this? I'm guessing Iíd need some reverb, but outside of that Iím at a loss. Iíve pretty much read Jay Roseís postproduction audio book, but didnít come across anything for this type of situation. I could have missed it though. The boom does have presence (as it would), but at times itís almost pure noise. I have tried adding the boom in a bit almost in the bg. Seems to add a little natural reverb, but again I get that noise.
Listening to the lav w/o the boom and w/o extra reverb doesnít sound that bad to me. Of course Iím an amateur and my first thought is to get clean audio. Other subtleties are not my strong point at this time. Unless Iím on crazy pills, Iím sure I read somewhere that the general rule was to add something like reverb to lav tracks. Of course I canít find that now.
Anyway, sorry for the long post, but any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old January 6th, 2006, 05:08 AM   #2
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Tough one Ashley.

Getting it as good as you can is the best approach. You have learned that an unattended boom mic is fairly useless for high quality work. Put that in your book of take away lessons learned.

Was anyone listening to that boom during the recording?

What do you mean by "you switched the lav out"?

Adding reverb to production audio to simulate other environments is not done that much. Adding it to ADR is more typical.


Ty Ford
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Old January 6th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #3
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Thanks, Ty. Actually, if there's anything I do know it's that booms have to be active. I pushed for it a few times on the set, but the audio guy seemed to have more experience than I, he was happy most of the time, and there were so many other things that I had to attend to. I was the writer, director, producer (and now also video and sound editor), we had 20 extras the day before, 0 the day of, etc, etc. About the lav, I just mean we put it on different people when they had a lot of dialog. So a good amount of switching out of the lav from actor to actor.
Actually, the audio guy recorded it in a way I hadn't seen before. He typically laved one actor and had someone else man the boom. These were both fed to some kind of a (M-Audio I believe) mixer which then fed into a laptop. He'd set levels, monitor the audio, etc from the laptop. The audio files he recorded are 32 bit. Of course FCP is 24 bit max and I'm sending out 24 bit OMF files to be used with different audio programs.
But, back to my question. So I shouldn't be using reverb, cool. One less thing to worry about. I guess my plan from here is to just edit for clean and use the boom only where I have no other choice. Right now the mix has problems b/c there's bg noise (coming from the boom usually) that comes and goes in certain scenes. Even with the music in the bg that's in most scenes, it does not completely mesh together the parts with the noise and the parts w/o. By using the lav alone as much as possible I hope to remove much of this noise. Then I'll try to EQ out and noise reduce out more of the noise from the boom. As a last resort, I guess I'll add ambience tracks to really problematic scenes so there's a noise present in the whole scene (so the audience gets used to it and tunes it out) rather than appearing and disappearing within the same scene.
Does this seem like a reasonable course of action?
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